How was Mark qualified to write his gospel?

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Mark was qualified to write his gospel because of his first hand relationship with the disciples of Jesus Christ. Mark, whose first name is actually John (Acts 15:36) was a cousin of Barnabas (Colossians 4:10). Mark’s home was in Jerusalem and probably where the “upper room” was held (Matthew 26:18). Some of the apostles lived in this upper room after the resurrection and the ascension (John 20:19; Acts 1:13), and it is this room where members of the early church in Jerusalem assembled (Acts 12:12).

Further, John Mark accompanied Paul and Barnabas on the first part of their first missionary journey (Acts 13:5, 13). On a later journey, he also accompanied Barnabas to the island of Cyprus (ch. 15:36–39). Later he worked directly under the direction of Peter and Paul (1 Peter 5:13; Colossians 4:10 2 Timothy 4:11) being disciple under their leadership and collecting all the truth they knew.

Papias, bishop of the city of Hierapolis in Asia Minor, gives us more information on how Mark knew about Jesus. In his Interpretations, as quoted in Eusebius (Ecclesiastical History iii. 39. 15; Loeb ed., vol. 1, p. 297), he states: “And the Presbyter [most probably the presbyter John] used to say this, “Mark became Peter’s interpreter and wrote accurately all that he remembered, not, indeed, in order, of the things said or done by the Lord. For he had not heard the Lord, nor had he followed him, but later on, as I said, followed Peter, who used to give teaching as necessity demanded but not making, as it were, an arrangement of the Lord’s oracles, so that Mark did nothing wrong in thus writing down single points as he remembered them. For to one thing he gave attention, to leave out nothing of what he had heard and to make no false statements in them.”

The above statement is in harmony with Peter’s reference to Mark as “my son” (1 Peter 5:13). Papias’ passage tells us that Mark served as a translator for the apostle Peter when he addressed audiences in whose language Peter was not familiar. Mark translated Peter’s gospel record so frequently that he became very familiar with it and thus was prepared to write the gospel narrative under inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

In his gospel, Mark highlights the supernatural power of God proving that Jesus was the Messiah by recording His miracles. Mark evidently believed that these miracles would be more convincing to his Gentile readers, especially those of a Roman background.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team


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